Jeremy Wright flourishing with increased role

With two 100-yards games already in the books, running back Jeremy Wright is flourishing with his increased role in the Cardinals ground attack. The junior spoke with CardinalAuthority.com following Saturday's win over North Carolina.

A product of Clermont (FL) East Ridge high school, running back Jeremy Wright has been best known for returning kicks since arriving at the University of Louisville in 2009. He was 5th in the Big East last season with a 23.6 yards per return average, which followed a red shirt freshman season that saw him finish 5th nationally with a 30.6 average.

Now a junior, Wright was expected to compete for the top spot on the depth chart. His improving play and a nagging knee injury to fellow back Dominique Brown has thrust him into an even larger role, one that has seen him flourish with the added responsibility.

"Whoever is healthy has to go out there and produce," Wright told Cardinal Authority following U of L‘s 39-34 win over North Carolina. "You have to be ready to go out there and execute."

Wright's contribution to the Cardinals ground attack has significantly increased from his previous two season's in the backfield. He'll surpass his number of rush attempts from 2010 (57) during the first half of the Florida International game and should reach beyond his 2011 total (73) before the team completes it's slate of three straight road contests.

Joining Senorise Perry as the primary ball carriers for Charlie Strong, the two have, at times, made running the ball seem easy. The pair have gained over 500 yards, averaging better than 5 yards per carry. Their combined 7 rushing touchdowns is more than the Cardinals scored on the ground through eight games last fall.

"I definitely think it has to do with maturity," said Wright, who was hampered by a bum knee of his own last season. "We've all grown a lot and have learned from our mistakes. We worked really hard during the off season and focused on getting better and I think that's showing up on the field."

He was the lone Cardinal running back to eclipse 100-yard's in a game last season, rushing for 108 yards in a crucial win over Rutgers, a feat that he's already accomplished twice in 2012.

"Jeremy Wright, he adds a punch to the backfield," said quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. "He's very explosive and he makes things happen in the running game. He helps the quarterback out a lot, because when you run the ball well, the defense will stack the box and that helps the passing game."

The Cardinals passing attack and the front line are critical factors in the success or shortcomings of the running game and Wright is quick to credit both.

"They help us out a lot," he said. "It makes it easier when guys you are counting on do their job. We as running backs have to make sure we go out and do our job right, so it'll make it easier on them. The offensive line has really matured and they are being more decisive with their blocks and getting us down the field."

Beginning this Saturday in Miami against FIU, the 20th-ranked Cardinals (3-0) face the challenge of three consecutive road games.

"We have to stay focused," said Wright. "There's nothing we can do about the schedule, so we just have to practice hard and prepare."


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